Why do we need to amplify our impact? 

Confronted with scientific evidence, governments have come to realise that conserving the ecosystems and biodiversity that we have left won’t be enough to halt, let alone reverse negative environmental trends – we also need to restore damaged ecosystems. Many countries have committed to international targets for restoration as part of a ‘nature-based solution’ that will deliver significantly on objectives for the conservation of biodiversity, mitigation of climate change, and sustainable development. This includes Target 2 of the Global Biodiversity Framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, to ‘ensure that by 2030 at least 30 per cent of areas of degraded terrestrial, inland water, and marine and coastal ecosystems are under effective restoration’.

Landscape and seascape restoration needs to happen on a much larger scale if we are to deliver on targets such as this one. Projects funded by the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme are an inspirational showcase of what can be achieved when funding, partnership among committed institutions, and co-development with communities come together. We aim to bring these examples, and the knowledge and lessons generated by the ELSP, to the attention of decision-makers and those with power and influence.

Key Performance Indicators

The Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme assesses its impact using a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are linked to international targets of the CBD and the Sustainable Development Goals. This allows the programme to communicate and demonstrate its relevance and contribution to agendas of significance to national governments and policymakers.

Convening to overcome barriers to restoration

Three key barriers to ecosystem restoration are consistently identified: Inadequate stakeholder engagement, conflicting interests and competition between different land uses; insufficient funding to deliver the scale of restoration required; and the absence of an enabling policy environment that prioritises restoration at scale. Solutions to overcome these are urgently needed to meet the ambitious commitments of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The ELSP is working with UNEP-WCMC, BirdLife, and RSPB to convene and strengthen dialogue between key actors, including restoration practitioners, local communities, the finance sector, and policymakers. Discussion will build on lessons coming from ELSP-funded landscapes and seascapes, to jointly find solutions to achieve restoration at scale.

One hundred priority questions for restoration

To achieve the challenging targets that have been set for restoration will require significant investment. Resources will need to be spent wisely, but there are significant gaps in knowledge on how to achieve restoration in ways that are efficient and effective. The Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme convened 37 restoration experts from a range of different backgrounds to identify 100 questions that, if answered, would make a substantial difference to terrestrial and marine restoration in Europe. These questions were published in the journal Biological Conservation.